Master Menelker, Deathstrike Dragon
"You'll be sorry you held yourself back from 'taboo tactics' when you're fighting for your life."
Master Menelker is a mysterious and misunderstood figure, though he's widely known as the most powerful martial artist in the Realm.
Midori and Menelker (The Two Dragons) are sons of the legendary Memnarch. While Midori and Menelker are both skilled martial artists and they can both take the forms of dragons (green and black, respectively), they have diametrically opposed philosophies. Midori believes in nurturing and honor. Menelker believes in winning, and if that happens to involve harsh training or "cheap" tactics, then so be it. A win is a win. Menelker embodies "playing to win."
That said, Menelker has no interest in harming innocents or fighting non-combatants. Instead, he seeks combat from the most skilled opponents he can find, and expects that they will use whatever means they can to win, as will he. Menelker has been known to engage in deathmatches--fights to the death--but only when both parties agree to such serious business.
Eventually, Menelker ran out of worthy opponents. Even the Fantasy Strike tournament would be a just a trifle to him, not even worth his time. Menelker left the Realm in search of greater challenge. During this time, many referred to him as the Exiled Dragon, and hoped he'd never return. Where did he go? We've all heard fairy tales about the Dreadlands to the north, but Menelker dared to see what's truly there.
He discovered the Undead Scourge of the Dreadlands (a playable faction in the upcoming customizable card game) and found dangers greater than any had imagined. There he learned a name that mortals of the Realm do not yet know: Vandy Anadrose, the Queen of Demons. (Or Queen of D's as some say.) The undead Queen has made bargains with beings who don't belong in our world. Even Menelker, a seeker of true power, knows that some things are too dangerous. Bargaining with the Beyond is bound to backfire.
Menelker barely survived this investigation. His very lifeforce was nearly sucked out of him, and half his body is now gray with the pallor of death. He returned to the Realm, saw the worthless clockwork army of Flagstone, and knew that he needed worthy opponents more than ever. This time not to defeat, but to train. Of all the warriors of the Realm, he saw the most potential in Grave Stormborne. Unfortunately, Midori has held back Grave by withholding training in the so-called dark arts. Master Memnarch accepted all maneuvers that lead to victory as valid, and Menelker agrees. Grave needed to go to the next level, and Menelker knew Midori was the real obstacle.
Menelker, The Exiled Dragon returned to challenge Midori to a deathmatch. Midori accepted. Two Dragons fought and then one remained. Deathstrike Dragon, indeed.
Although Grave was consumed with rage, this fueled his training more than ever. While Menelker is a villain in Grave's eyes, he's also ultimately Grave's true mentor. The two went on to have several encounters, and each time Grave would learn one of his own weaknesses, as Menelker demonstrated how to abuse "cheap tactics" that Grave was unprepared for.